Switches as User Input Devices

KeySwitchThe humble switch is one of the major ways that users can interact with Arduino based code. Often the input comes from some variation of the momentary-on push switch, like the tact switch on the left, connected to an input on the microcontroller.

Users of modern GUIs will be familiar with being able to express themselves through a keyboard and a mouse. So user interface elements like double-clicks, long clicks and keyboard auto-repeat are familiar.

However, a lot of microcontroller code simply restricts the use of these switches to on/off functionality. Arduino programmers often don’t understand how to provide more features, even though a single switch can be made to do much more for a user.

Continue reading “Switches as User Input Devices”

Advertisements

Radio Buttons in the Real World

RadioButtonsRadio buttons were named after the physical buttons used on older car radios to select preset stations – when one of the buttons was pressed the other buttons would pop out, leaving the pressed button pushed-in as a visual reminder of the current choice.

These days radio  buttons are mainly found in graphic user interfaces. As an experiment, I wanted to create a physical user interface modeled on the concept, using LEDs and tact switches.

Continue reading “Radio Buttons in the Real World”